One of the top questions that students ask me is: "How can I pronounce this word?" or "Am I pronouncing this word correctly?".
Pronunciation can be tricky, because as we know, English is not a phonetic language. Meaning, we don't always say a word the same way we spell it. There are many exceptions to the rule, take for example the 3 words THOUGH, THROUGH AND TOUGH. (I bet you scratched your head on that last one hehe.) All 3 of these words end with -OUGH, but each one has a different pronunciation. Check out my Instagram post to see how we pronounce each one!
If you are interested in learning more about why the English language is not phonetic, feel free to check out this BBC article that discusses the history of the language and why it became so difficult to spell.
As for my tip to help you pronounce words correctly, I always recommend youglish.com which gives you snippets from clips of native speakers pronouncing the word. Not only do you hear the word being spoken correctly, but the word is spoken by real people and it is spoken in context which helps you understand the word better as well.
Some of the great features on this website include:
The option to choose different English accents ranging from American to British to Australian and many more.
Speed up or slow down the video.
A plethora of different videos to choose from.
Transcription of the video.
Phonetic spelling of the word.
A definition of the word.